More Canadians than ever now view climate change as human-caused, but one-in-four disagree
May 3, 2021 – Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole’s mid-April announcement of a new carbon pricing plan surprised many Canadians, including, reportedly, some members of his own party.
The move was designed – among other things – to grow the party’s vote base, especially among swing voters who consistently name climate change as a top political issue. Now, new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute shows initial reaction is mixed.
One on hand, one-in-five 2019 CPC voters (19%) say his new policy plank will make them less likely to vote for the party again in a future election.
On the other, the data reveal small segments of voters to the left of the political spectrum more open to voting CPC now that it espouses a plan to price carbon emissions.
Perhaps most notably, 19 per cent of past Bloc Quebecois voters in battleground Quebec say the move makes them more likely to consider the Conservative party when the next election is held.
The broader question for the Conservatives may well come down to whether the segment of its 2019 voters who say they’ll quit the party over carbon pricing actually follow through.
The issue remains a divisive one within the blue tent: CPC members rejected a proposal to formally recognize climate change at the party’s policy convention in March. And while the voters for all other major federal parties are near unanimously in agreement that climate change is a fact that is caused by human activity, just one-in-three past CPC voters agree. A greater number (43%) say that it is happening as a natural cycle, while 17 per cent say it is not happening at all.
More Key Findings:
- When presented with a synopsis of each carbon pricing plan, 45 per cent of Canadians say they support the CPC carbon pricing plan, while 56 per cent say they support the Liberal current plan
- 45 per cent of Canadians say the federal government needs to do more to tackle climate change, while 32 per cent take the opposite position. One-quarter (23%) say the government has found the right balance in its climate policy.
- Overall, seven-in-ten Canadians say climate change is happening and primarily cause by human activity. An additional one-in-five say they believe climate change is real, but it is primarily from the earth’s natural cycles. Just seven per cent say climate change is not real.
- Fewer than half in Alberta (46%) and Saskatchewan (48%) believe in human caused climate change.